Potential snow could spell trouble for property owners and their trees

Potential snow could spell trouble for property owners and their trees
Posted at 11:04 PM, Jan 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-16 06:37:33-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Troy Zanko and his truck are prepared for whatever the weather may bring. "It’s a real game-changer when it comes to storm damage and one of the safest piece of equipment that we have,” said Zanko, who owns New Horizon Tree Service.

Equipped with a 72-foot crane, his truck is perfect for removing storm-damaged trees.

"We also have a 24-hour emergency service so sometimes we have to be set and ready on go at twelve, one, two o’clock in the morning,” he said.

He said this latest round of winter weather will pose a different kind of threat than the last one. “This snow is going to be a lot different, plus it may have some sleet, freezing rain associated with it so it’s going to be very, very heavy.”

He says trees that have limbs parallel to the ground may be more likely to break under pressure.

Owner of Tree Solutions, Brian Holloway, said you'll especially want to be cautious of trees like Poplars, Bradford Pears, or Cottonwoods. He said while you may not see immediate damage following a winter storm, it could contribute to problems later on.

"Ice accumulation on a tree or prolonged exposure to below freezing temps can actually rupture the cell membranes inside the canopy of the tree and you know it won't be obvious now but months down the road or a year later it could start showing signs of distress from an event now," said Holloway.

Try to park your car inside or away from any trees before the snow comes. To protect your smaller trees you may also want to wrap them in blankets or commercial tree wraps.

But Zanko admits the best way to prepare your trees for a storm is to maintain them. “If a limb is anything over ten inches — I think safely — if it’s anything over ten inches and its more horizontal, that limb should not be very long,” he said.

Zanko said if you do have a fallen tree or climb, call a professional. Fixing it yourself could create more harm than good.